The Benefits of Garlic
Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated crops on Earth, and those who grow it in its native land of central Asia have been producing the plant for over 5000 years. It is believed the ancient Egyptians were one of the earliest civilizations to utilize garlic in their society. They believed it imbibed the user with strength and stamina, and it was often buried alongside Pharaohs due to its supposed mystical qualities. Romans and Greeks shared the idea that garlic bestows strength, as both cultures ate garlic before sporting events or war to increase the odds of victory. It hasn’t been until more modern times that garlic has been scientifically proven to have several health benefits.
There are a number of compounds within garlic that give it the natural healing qualities so many generations of people have come to rely upon. Thiosulfinates, sulfides, and dithiins are all present in garlic, and while they are responsible for the strong smell of garlic they are also to thank for its beneficial attributes. These compounds help with cardiovascular health by promoting strong blood flow while maintaining adequate blood pressure. Garlic also has a minor ability to combat overall cholesterol, and it is an excellent source of vitamin C, B6, and selenium.
In addition to cardiovascular health boosts garlic is also able to act as an anti-inflammatory agent across multiple systems within your body. Garlic extracts have shown promising efficacy against inflammation in both the respiratory and musculoskeletal systems. It has also been shown that the thiacremonone and diallyl sulfide found in garlic can protect against arthritis. Concentrated garlic extracts have even been shown to reduce allergy-based airway constrictions.
The effects of garlic on someone suffering from obesity can be profound as well. Obese individuals can benefit from a compound found in garlic called vinyldithiin, which prevents the progression of young fat cells into fully formed adipocytes. Preliminary research has shown that this connection is based on the inflammation related progression of obesity, and it could one day be used as a basis for treating obesity at the source.
It may be surprising to learn that garlic also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties as well. Some early research is even being conducted to show any potential cancer-fighting agents within garlic, and the research has netted some promising results. Garlic has been providing effective health benefits for years, and we are only on the cusp of fully understanding the healing properties of this plant.